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Pilot project 3: youthPROTECT Peace and Environment

Walking in the mist and fog the landscape is slowly unveiling to see hidden mountains, jagged cliffs and snow covered peaks – even though it’s July! Emerging through the fog are bright vivid colors: reds and greens and blues, yellow and violet too.

It is the tents and jackets of youthPROTECT Peace and Environment participants who are camping in Bogiqe along the border between Kosovo and Montenegro. The 28 participants spent fun-filled training days in Montenegro along the shores of Plav lake where they got to know each other and the environmental situations in each of the participant countries in a mapping activity that mapped out: Kosovo, Montenegro, Greece, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Italy and even USA. The participants gained skills and knowledge about protected areas, environment sustainability, being an active citizen in their societies, and about utilizing protected areas through ecotourism. The participants of youthPROTECT promoted cross-border cooperation and peace and environment by hiking across the border between Kosovo and Montenegro and camping in the cross-border region. The rest of the training course was spent in the Rugova valley and Peja, Kosovo, where the participants interacted with the local community and youth through a roundtable discussion on environmental issues and youth participation, and through a special open house for youth at the local youth center. In the end, underlying this experience and all knowledge gained, are the connections made between the youth and relationships that will present the opportunities for cross border and regional cooperation in the future.

This project was coordinated by Environmentally Responsible Action (ERA) group - Kosovo in partnership with Janun e.V. – Germany, UNESCO Youth Club of Thessaloniki – Greece, Pillar Foundation – Hungary, Triton/HRID – Montenegro, Traditional Culture and Sustainable Development – Bulgaria, Valbona Environmental Centre – Albania, CnC – Croatia.